Clara’s ‘Sensible’ Shoes

clara's-sensible-shoes

Clara hated the beginning of the school year for one reason only. Her mother insisted on buying her ‘sensible shoes’ that meant ugly shoes. They went to the local shoe store and waited for the sales assistant to measure her feet. The sales assistant was very sweet. She smiled at Clara and said,

“What sort of shoes would you like?” Clara was about to speak but her mother interrupted.

“I would like Clara to have a pair of shoes completely flat. The plainer the better.”

She took them to the girl’s section and showed them what was available in Clara’s size.

“Unfortunately you have come a little late and most of the shoes in your daughters size have finished but I’m sure we can find something.” She took a pretty black pair of shoes off the shelf. It had a simple black bow at the top and a very low heal. Clara immediately liked the shoe but could see her mother’s face full of disapproval.

“I’m sorry but these shoes are not practical for school. I want something completely plain.” Said Clara’s mother firmly.

They looked at all the shoes on display but the choice was either plain shoes with a heal or decorated shoe without a heel.

“We’ll just have to look at the boys’ shoes Clara.” Clara gaped at her mother with disbelief. Surely she wasn’t going to make her wear boys’ shoes? Her mother picked up a clumpy and ugly pair of boys’ flat lace up shoes.

“These look sensible, can you see if you have these in Clara’s size?” The sales assistant looked very surprised, but went in to the stock room to check. A few minutes later she came out with a pair for Clara to try on. Poor Clara said nothing and tried to cover up how upset she was. She put the shoes on and her mother smiled and nodded. Clara knew better than to challenge her mother so they left the shop with the ugly boys’ shoes in hand.

The first day back to school had arrived and Clara was ready to leave. She put the shoes on, hating herself and worrying how much she was going to be picked on when the other girls saw her shoes. Just before she was leaving, she suddenly had an idea. She ran upstairs and found her plimsolls and sneaked them in her bag. She then kissed her mother goodbye and left for school.

The school was only five minutes away and Clara was old enough to walk by herself. As she reached the top of the road, she took her shoes off and put on the plimsolls. At least she wouldn’t be the laughing stock today.

School was great fun until they had the school inspection that happened on the first day of each term. As the headmaster inspected the class making sure they had on the correct uniform he stopped at Clara and looked at her feet.

“Clara, why are you not wearing the correct shoes? Plimsolls are for games only.”

“Sorry Mr Jenkins, they’re in my bag in the cloakroom.”

“Go and change your shoes immediately Clara.”

Clara kicked herself for not thinking up a better excuse. If only she had said her new shoes were rubbing her and she had to change them.

When she came back Mr Jenkins was waiting. The rest of the class were standing in line.

She heard Samantha say, “Oh look at Clara’s shoes. No wonder she didn’t wear them. They are horrible and they’re boys shoes!”

“That’s better Clara,” said Mrs Jenkins but felt very sorry for her and understood exactly why she hadn’t put them on before.

Clara spent the rest of the afternoon not leaving her desk and hiding her feet as far under the table as possible to avoid all the looks from her classmates.

Little did Clara know that Mr Jenkins phoned up her mother, explaining what had happened and suggesting that the shoes she was wearing could make Clara’s school life a little difficult.

At the end of the day, Clara walked home alone. She’d had enough of being made fun of and was feeling sad and fed up. Her mother was waiting at the doorstep smiling at her, asking Clara, with enthusiasm, how her first day of school went.

Clara shrugged, “It was ok I guess.” She walked to the kitchen to get something to eat and saw a box on her chair with her name on it. She wondered what on earth could it be.

“Can I open this?” she said excitedly.

“Of course, it has your name on it. Go on open it.” Her mother smiled.

Clara opened the box and inside was the pretty black pair of shoes she was shown in the shoe shop.

“Oh thank you mummy. These are the best shoes I’ve every had!”

Her mother smiled, realising that ‘sensible’ wasn’t always the best thing.

 

Goodnight Sleep Tight

Angelica Galea Young

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